Raymond Carver What Is It Essay

According to most, Lish did exactly what a great editor is supposed to do: fashioned Carver’s stories into more concise, more restrained, and yes, more versions of themselves.In his editing of the story “Beginners” (re-titled by Lish “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” henceforth WWTA), for example, Lish is quite plainly allergic to any kind of bald declaration of emotion, disdaining anything even resembling melodrama.

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Many critics essentially credit Lish with Carver’s success.

While some writers take umbrage with Lish’s slash-and-burn mentality as an editor, scant few critics contend that Carver’s writing was “better” before Lish got his hands on it.

While melodrama is generally frowned upon in literary circles, and I would argue with good reason, “Beginners” is much more self-aware and deliberate than many critics give it credit for.

On the second page, Terri and Herb have already traded several barbs in what was supposed to be a friendly conversation about the nature of love.

Whatever your personal taste, that sense of melodrama is very much intentional.

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The reader is not meant to like these characters; rather, she is meant to feel as if she is at the worst dinner party of her life.

The Cathedral by Raymond Carver is an extremely important story about inner conflict, the usually wrong causes of that conflict and how enlightenment brings an end to such problems.

The story revolves around three characters, a husband Bub, his wife-unnamed, and a blind man-Robert.

When he published the book I knew I’d gone as far the other way as I could or wanted to go, cutting everything down to the marrow, not just to the bone.

Any farther in that direction and I’d be at a dead end—writing stuff and publishing stuff I wouldn’t want to read myself, and that’s the truth. That being said, it’s too simplistic to demonize Lish, and claim that Carver’s entirely unedited stories represent the “real” Carver.


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